17 million digits, the largest Prime ever found, all thanks to a few GIMPS.....but there is cash in the game too.
The largest prime number yet discoveredMathematicians like discovering high primes not because they are useful (or not yet, anyway) but because they are there. It is a fun challenge and a measure of the power of distributed computing projects. The campaign group Electronic Frontier Foundation gave a prize for the first 1m-digit and 10m-digit primes, and will give $150,000 (£96,000) to the discoverer of the first 100m-digit prime.
Personally, I thought Euclid's proof was simple: multiply all the primes known together and add 1.
This new large number is either prime or divisible by an unknown larger prime - in either case a larger prime has been found.
But what do I know.....I am an Arts and Business graduate!!